Topic
  • 9 replies
  • Latest Post - ‏2012-10-31T21:36:15Z by JimDensmore
Holitza
Holitza
7 Posts

Pinned topic Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?

‏2012-01-20T22:18:25Z |
Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?
Updated on 2012-10-31T21:36:15Z at 2012-10-31T21:36:15Z by JimDensmore
  • ScottWill
    ScottWill
    4 Posts

    Re: Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?

    ‏2012-02-17T03:20:16Z  
    My take is that maintenance was actually "Agile before Agile was cool."  Customer-reported defects are more or less equivalent to User Stories (your maintenance team knows the "role," the "goal," and the "business value" of a defect -- for example, "Acme Widgets just discovered a Sev1 defect and their system is down -- they need it fixed ASAP because they're losing thousands of dollars an hour in lost sales!").  A maintenance team that's been around for a while already knows its "velocity" (for example, "On average, each of our maintenance engineers can fix 10 customer-reported defects a month"), and the prioritized backlog of work items is pretty much taken care of by the severity of the defects reported.  Finally, work tends to accomplished be in small chunks -- fixing a defect rarely rises to the level of implementing some new feature in a product -- instead defects get coded, tested, and doc'd in short order...
  • Cherifa
    Cherifa
    30 Posts

    Re: Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?

    ‏2012-04-02T17:03:27Z  
    • ScottWill
    • ‏2012-02-17T03:20:16Z
    My take is that maintenance was actually "Agile before Agile was cool."  Customer-reported defects are more or less equivalent to User Stories (your maintenance team knows the "role," the "goal," and the "business value" of a defect -- for example, "Acme Widgets just discovered a Sev1 defect and their system is down -- they need it fixed ASAP because they're losing thousands of dollars an hour in lost sales!").  A maintenance team that's been around for a while already knows its "velocity" (for example, "On average, each of our maintenance engineers can fix 10 customer-reported defects a month"), and the prioritized backlog of work items is pretty much taken care of by the severity of the defects reported.  Finally, work tends to accomplished be in small chunks -- fixing a defect rarely rises to the level of implementing some new feature in a product -- instead defects get coded, tested, and doc'd in short order...
     Scott , all what you said makes sense in terms of some agile practices ( user stories, prioritized product backlog, release planning, releasing frequently, teams know their velocity...) but it is more to  that. When you fix defects, you tend to create code which is going  to be injected into an existing component/build. The other challenge is when you have more than one team ( usually more than two), each working on a set of defects and all need to release at the same time. I am working recently with a customer who is using RTC for their maintenance project. The challenges this team faces is in terms  of adopting continuous integration properly and to avoid production bottleneck , the deployment needs to be orchestrated...So if we have any best practices that we can share with our clients in terms of adopting continuous integration, TDD,refactoring and continuous deployment..this is where I   see good value of agile for maintenance projects. BTW, this is Cherifa.. dev works posted my reply under the nickname I had ages ago!!!
    Updated on 2012-04-02T17:03:27Z at 2012-04-02T17:03:27Z by Cherifa
  • dmgreggs
    dmgreggs
    1 Post

    Re: Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?

    ‏2012-04-02T18:57:42Z  
     I believe Agile concepts and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) can be used for both maintenance and "systems" projects.  My last customer was using Agile for all IT projects, which included projects to configure SAP, WebEx and data migration.  The Agile Value of "Working Software" would be better described as "Working Solution" to cover the various types of projects.  The project teams used the Agile Management practices and tailored the Engineering practices by type of project. 
  • ScottWill
    ScottWill
    4 Posts

    Re: Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?

    ‏2012-04-10T22:44:16Z  
    • Cherifa
    • ‏2012-04-02T16:59:23Z
     Scott , all what you said makes sense in terms of some agile practices ( user stories, prioritized product backlog, release planning, releasing frequently, teams know their velocity...) but it is more to  that. When you fix defects, you tend to create code which is going  to be injected into an existing component/build. The other challenge is when you have more than one team ( usually more than two), each working on a set of defects and all need to release at the same time. I am working recently with a customer who is using RTC for their maintenance project. The challenges this team faces is in terms  of adopting continuous integration properly and to avoid production bottleneck , the deployment needs to be orchestrated...So if we have any best practices that we can share with our clients in terms of adopting continuous integration, TDD,refactoring and continuous deployment..this is where I   see good value of agile for maintenance projects. BTW, this is Cherifa.. dev works posted my reply under the nickname I had ages ago!!!
    Hey Cherifa!
     
    I would imagine Reedy and some of the other Services folks would be great contacts for how to effectively use RTC in that particular environment -- and I agree that the coordination amongst teams is critical in such a situation.  Also, I'll maintain that an Agile approach in that environment will be far more disciplined and effective than a more waterfall-oriented approach.
     
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  • Alok Singh
    Alok Singh
    1 Post

    Re: Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?

    ‏2012-09-19T14:00:34Z  
     Agile works for both new and maintenance projects. I my experience, it works best when teams are maintaining as well are pushing out new versions of a product. Some members form different scrum teams will form a maintenance scrum team which will focus on the service packs and patches. Members will rotate between maintenance and new feature development teams, since no one wants to get stuck up in the maintenance work.
  • DanPollitt
    DanPollitt
    4 Posts

    Re: Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?

    ‏2012-10-26T13:50:07Z  
    • dmgreggs
    • ‏2012-04-02T18:57:42Z
     I believe Agile concepts and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) can be used for both maintenance and "systems" projects.  My last customer was using Agile for all IT projects, which included projects to configure SAP, WebEx and data migration.  The Agile Value of "Working Software" would be better described as "Working Solution" to cover the various types of projects.  The project teams used the Agile Management practices and tailored the Engineering practices by type of project. 
     A lot of questions around Agile really seem to hinge on what it means to be an Agile team. I think it really boils down to greggsd's last sentence:

    The project teams used the Agile Management practices and tailored the Engineering practices by type of project.

    I thing in general being Agile is an empowerment of the delivery team to own and customise (when identifying a need) their practices and process to create an environment that allows them to deliver high-quality and relevant (at the point of delivery) value to the customer. I don't think this precludes any type of project at all. An Agile team is often qualified as such by the collection of practices they employ (iterative planning/delivery, pair programming, test-driven development) - and these are very often great choices from which to select from the "Practice Toolbox" but (to give an extreme example to make the point) I believe that a conscious decision by the responsible team to employ a waterfall methodology to deliver a given product could be viewed as an Agile decision in certain circumstances...
     
    Updated on 2012-10-26T13:50:07Z at 2012-10-26T13:50:07Z by DanPollitt
  • DougStewart
    DougStewart
    10 Posts

    Re: Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?

    ‏2012-10-30T21:30:55Z  
     For your amusement, I'd like to share 2 points of view I've heard in the last two weeks from customers:
    1. Agile is really only for big/new applications, said the person working on a small team and application
    2. Agile is really only for small applications, said the person from a large application project
    From my perspective, Agile is a toolbox.  Normal resistance to change in human nature always tries to categorize change as really only applying to someone else. I try to orient the principles of Agile to address pain in the current process.  This seems to successfully get away from the 'somebody else' arguments.
  • JimDensmore
    JimDensmore
    24 Posts

    Re: Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?

    ‏2012-10-31T21:31:06Z  
     For your amusement, I'd like to share 2 points of view I've heard in the last two weeks from customers:
    1. Agile is really only for big/new applications, said the person working on a small team and application
    2. Agile is really only for small applications, said the person from a large application project
    From my perspective, Agile is a toolbox.  Normal resistance to change in human nature always tries to categorize change as really only applying to someone else. I try to orient the principles of Agile to address pain in the current process.  This seems to successfully get away from the 'somebody else' arguments.
    Well Ms. Customer, what is it that you think Agile does?  Do you want to be more agile?  (Lowercase ...)  Agile is a toolbox for becoming more agile.  Spot on Doug.
  • JimDensmore
    JimDensmore
    24 Posts

    Re: Some say Agile only works for new or greenfield projects and doesn't work for maintenance, what do you think?

    ‏2012-10-31T21:36:15Z  
    • ScottWill
    • ‏2012-02-17T03:20:16Z
    My take is that maintenance was actually "Agile before Agile was cool."  Customer-reported defects are more or less equivalent to User Stories (your maintenance team knows the "role," the "goal," and the "business value" of a defect -- for example, "Acme Widgets just discovered a Sev1 defect and their system is down -- they need it fixed ASAP because they're losing thousands of dollars an hour in lost sales!").  A maintenance team that's been around for a while already knows its "velocity" (for example, "On average, each of our maintenance engineers can fix 10 customer-reported defects a month"), and the prioritized backlog of work items is pretty much taken care of by the severity of the defects reported.  Finally, work tends to accomplished be in small chunks -- fixing a defect rarely rises to the level of implementing some new feature in a product -- instead defects get coded, tested, and doc'd in short order...
    Let me expand that idea Scott.  What is DevOps?  It is the enhancement of the collaboration between the Support Shop (maintenance) and Product Engineering (developers) so that RFE (enhancement requeste) patches can be included in the stream along with bugfix patches.  It's purpose is to bring Agile, and therefore agility, to the products that are already fielded.  And the purpose of that is to permit a robust architecture to evolve unfettered by the boundaries associated with releases.